Emory Report
July 18, 2005
Volume 57, Number 35


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July 18, 2005
Life of Rosalynn Carter on display, July 23

BY Tony Clark

Rosalynn Carter is the other half of one of the most extraordinary political partnerships in American history. Beginning July 23, visitors to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum will have the opportunity to experience her journey from her family’s farm in Plains to first lady of the United States through the exhibit, “The Story of the Life of Eleanor Rosalynn Smith Carter.”

This limited-time exhibition describes Carter’s birth and childhood in Plains. The oldest of four children, her life focused on family, church and school. Her father died when she was young, so Carter assumed many of the household chores and supervised the younger children while her mother was at work. She helped with sewing and shampooed hair in a local beauty parlor for spending money.

While she was in college, Rosalynn began dating Jimmy Carter, the brother of her best friend Ruth. They were married in 1946, after his graduation from the Naval Academy.

Exhibit visitors will learn of Mrs. Carter’s disappointment at returning to the small town of Plains after seven years traveling as a Navy wife. The Carters moved back to Georgia to run the family business after Jimmy Carter’s father died. Soon, there was no place Rosalynn would rather live than Plains.

Photographs and documents describe Mrs. Carter’s involvement in her husband’s campaigns for governor and for president. Her tireless efforts to improve the lives of the mentally and emotionally handicapped, for human rights and for childhood immunization are all displayed in the exhibit.

“These photographs have special meaning to me, because they show us at work and with our family,” said Mrs. Carter, who personally helped the Plains Historic Site and the Georgia Humanities Council select images for the exhibit. “We hope that visitors will understand how valuable are the ties that bind people together when they are involved in mutual efforts to accomplish exciting and gratifying goals.”

“The Story of the Life of Eleanor Rosalynn Smith Carter” will be on display at the Carter Presidential Library & Museum from July 23–Sept. 18. The museum is open Monday though Saturday from 9 a.m.–4:45 p.m. and on Sunday from noon–4:45 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, military and
students with ID. Children 16 and younger are admitted free.

Also at the Carter Library & Museum, the new commemorative “Presidential Libraries” postage stamp will be unveiled on Thursday, Aug. 4 at 10:30 a.m. The 37-cent postage stamp marks the 50th anniversary of the Presidential Libraries Act and honors the 11 current Presidential Libraries, as well as the Richard Nixon Library which joins the Presidential Library system next year.

“We are pleased to be one of the sites for the official unveiling of the Presidential Libraries stamp,” said Jay Hakes, director of the Carter Presidential Library. “The stamp not only commemorates the Presidential Libraries, it is a reminder of the important role the libraries play in a democracy.”

The unveiling ceremony will be held in the lobby of the museum. It is free and open to the public. The new Presidential Libraries stamp, as well as commemorative first day of issuance materials, will be on sale at the library.

For more information about either event, call 404-865-7101 or visit www.jimmycarterlibrary.org.